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Five Tips Friday: Reducing toy clutter

I've stopped apologizing about the explosion of toys in my living room. When I became a parent, I knew the day would come when my lovingly decorated house would look like a toy mine. I wouldn't have it any other way, but I do what I can to control the toy clutter in my home.

You really can't avoid toy clutter, but there are things you can do to make it more manageable. My advice is to focus on reducing the clutter rather than trying to eliminate it altogether. Because no matter how well you organise them, you'll find the toys have found their way all over the floor in a few days!

Five tips for reducing toy clutter


Here are my five tips for de-cluttering toys:


1. Set aside toys routinely


Have a box to give away (where your kids can't see it), and put away toys they don't play with, or don't seem to miss. Make it a habit to fill this box routinely, not just when there's a collection. Keep an eye out for things that could go in the box while you're picking them, instead of going through them later. You can keep the box for a month or so, to see if your kids ask for any of those toys.

2. Practise toy rotation


It requires a little work at first, but by creating different sets of toys to be rotated on a fixed basis, you can reduce clutter, and give your child 'new' things to play with more often. Just make sure you have a good variety of toys in each set. Playful Learning has a great tutorial on toy rotation.

3. Organise by size


I've realised that instead of organising toys (such as cars) by type, it's easier to do them by size. Put all the smaller toys together, and the big ones separately. They will require different types of storage anyway, and will be easier to retreive.

4. Get small containers


Big toy boxes don't work for me, except for the toys that have been temporarily put away. If kids have to dig too deep to find something, you are more likely to have an emptied toy box on the floor. Choose small or flat storage boxes instead, where they can instantly see what's in.

5. Be a smart buyer


When buying toys, try to look for ones that can serve more than one purpose. A toy train that can be used off the track, or toy set that comes in a container. Plus points if it can be used for learning purposes, such as coloured blocks in different shapes. I would also suggest looking for more gender neutral toys so that if you have more than one kid, they can share. There's nothing wrong with having pink or blue toys, of course, but toys that can be shared regardless of gender will reduce the need for separate ones.


Five Tips Friday is a series of posts on five quick tips 
about parenting, blogging, social media, travel, or just about anything!


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27 comments

Lizzy - muddle-headed mamma said...

These are super tips, Tarana. I do the toy rotation one already (mainly because our house is too small to accomodate all the toys!) but I hadn't even thought of doing some of the others. Thanks for the post :)

Wry Mummy said...

Great ideas, Tarana. I keep a box for getting rid of, but the boys have found it a couple of times and mingled them all back together with the toys I can tolerate. Need to improve my hiding skills! #PoCoLo

Caroline said...

Great ideas, I need to get better at toy rotation, I am a bit half hearted with it really. Every time I sort his toys they end up very messy again very quickly, argh! Xx

Merlinda Little said...

My problem exactly! I don't know how to sort it. I don't have space in the storage room anymore. Our house looks like a hoarder's house now =( #pocolo

Tarana said...

Glad you liked the tips! I've only just started to get our clutter under control, so I wanted to share these ideas.

Tarana said...

You will! Hope you find a good place :)

Tarana said...

That's the thing with toddlers!

Tarana said...

We're running out of space too, and we don't have a storage room!

Victoria Welton said...

Now why oh why did I not think of - or have - these when Grace was younger?! Great tips. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

Gina Jacobs Thomas said...

Great tips! I often have good intentions of doing a toy rotation, but it often falls by the wayside months later. I do, on occasion, go through their toys when they're at school and purge things I know they haven't played with (trinkets from birthday parties, etc.), and put them in the basement. If they haven't asked for it a few months later, it's gone.

Seychellesmama said...

The toy rotation thing is such a good one, we use this and it helps so so much!! I think it also increases the life of the toys....in that they don't get bored of them so quickly!
Great post and tips as always :)

Louise Fairweather said...

We are drowning in toys so am definately going to do this

Mel @mydaysni said...

I used to rotate toys. I don't know why I stopped as it really does help! #sharewithme

Zena's Suitcase said...

I really needed this. I am literally drowning in toys. I always seem to be chasing my tail with it all :(

Zena's Suitcase said...

PS #sharewithme, I always forget that bit!

Rachel Cooper said...

Some great ideas here. We had a big toy reorganisation just after Christmas and it's made such a difference #sharewithme

Tarana said...

I do the same, especially with those little toys that get everywhere!

Tarana said...

Yes, it can make such a difference!

Let's Talk Mommy said...

I could do with following these tips I am horrible at keeping all their toys. I really need a good clear out with better storage too. Great tips. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. Sorry if you had any trouble commenting on my site today as the host is being transferred there are a few glitches to fix. Apologies. #sharewithme

[email protected] said...

These are really great tips. We live in a tiny flat so keeping on top of the toy clutter is important. We do the toy rotation thing too, and I'm also with you on not having huge toy bins. I don't actually think it's good for kids - it's not inspiring as they can't see what they have. I prefer to use flattish baskets laid out on low shelves so my toddler can see exactly what he wants to play with. Everything gets put back at the end of the day, without fail. We're also trying to instill the idea that he should put back a toy that he's done with before he gets another one, but he's taking a bit persuading ;-)

Lystra Maisey said...

Hello there, thank you for these tips I will be giving them a try-I had a clear out before Christmas but am already getting overwhelmed with clutter! x #sharewithme

Tarana said...

We live in a flat too, so it's important to keep the toys under control! I've always asked my toddler to keep his toys back, and it's mostly what he does :)

Tarana said...

Clearing them out regularly really helps!

Susanne Remic said...

These are great tips! I regularly rotate toys (once a teacher always a teacher!!) and it works well for us. We still have a huge toy mountain though! x x

Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

Awesome tips! I especially like the reminder that huge toy boxes don't really work well - digging = mess!

TheMissusV said...

I really need to work on toy rotation! I always say I will take time to do that but I always forget! Sigh.

Louise Fairweather said...

I just don't buy toys anymore. I am giving the toy rotation a go so hopefully that will help

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